When a complete set of personally identifiable information (PII) is sold on the Internet, it's all a criminal needs to steal an identity. And research has shown that the cost to steal that identity is only $30 to $40.
A "fullz" for a US consumer contains a person's full name, birth date, Social Security number, address, phone number, driver's license number, and mother's maiden name. For an extra $10 to $25, sellers will add an individual's credit card data, bank account data, bank security questions and answers, employer, or other critical information.
The new research, by Armor Defense, found PII merchants who gave instructions on how the information can be used to commit bank fraud and tips on getting information that might be missing from a record — one seller, for example, suggested going to Ancestry.com to find a victim's mother's maiden name.
Although costs for a fullz differ from country to country, the generally low cost of the records reflects the huge supply of PII after a series of breaches at hospitals, government agencies, and credit bureaus.
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